Philips DVDR 725H instead of Tivo

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by LFC4ever, Jan 11, 2005.

  1. LFC4ever

    LFC4ever
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    I have a Pioneer 434, Sky Digibox and Panasonic E85, having sold my Tivo earlier this year.Unfortunately I find the Panasonic a real pain to record to ( have to set the timer and Sky channel etc). I'm really tempted by the Philips machine (seems you can get it for £495 MR from many sites) as it would change the Skybox like the Tivo.I'm only put off by all the people who seem to think Philips machines aren't very good and I'm wondering if any one can help here with feedback.Will the Philips do a similar job to Tivo but without Series recording etc ? ( We have a communal Sat dish and I can't get Sky+).
    Also would DVDR+ and DVDRW+ play on the Panasonic E85 if I move this machine to another room ?
    Advice gratefully received !
     
  2. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    DVD+R if finallised, DVD+RW as recorded should playback fine on the E85.

    You could always use the Sky digibox autoview with the E85 but in composite video mode only and due to the fact programmes often start early and finish late you may loose the beginning or end of some.

    Get another TiVo you know you miss it.
     
  3. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    This is the home of the Anti-Philips brigade dont ya know :) - but I have Philips HDRW720 (80gig) and i'm very pleased with it - it's certainly the most comprehensive HD/DVD available & the nearest thing to Tivo - whilst it doesn't have series link - Philips did say 'it will' be available in an update (but dont hold your breath)
     
  4. Rasczak

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    ...and do ever wonder why? Do a search if in doubt!

    They aren't very good - and the HDD/DVDR combi in question has some serious issues, i.e. inability to rate convert, poor editting. The former is particularly important as it means you'll need to use the lower quality modes (i.e. 2.5hr mode) to ensure you could still dub your recordings to DVD+RW/+R. You can get away with that on a CRT but not so easily on a plasma.

    JethroUK is one of the few voices in favour of this machine and I am one of the many voices against. To ensire yoI urge you to dig out the What Video & Widescreen review (November Issue) and read the Panasonic v Pioneer v JVC v Philips group test. I think is sums up the situation nicely that the Philips got 3/5 whereas the others all scored 5/5. And this is before you even consider the reliability issues associated with Philips machines... :rolleyes:

    Ultimately there are many bigger and better options offering EPG recording coming this year. However if you do want a DVD recorder with EPG now then the Pioneer 920 is a much better match for your plasma screen than the Philips. All that said, if you do want a bare-bones, basic timeshifter, the Philips will provide an adequate solution.
     
  5. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    JVC DVD recorder will do this too IIRC not sure how good it is
    why not Sky+??????
     
  6. LFC4ever

    LFC4ever
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    This is great feedback thanks - the main issue I have is that I can't select a program and have the machine change the channel on the Sky Digibox. I will definitely read the reviews, but are there any other machines that WILL change the Skybox like the Tivo ( and Tivo picture quality would be a let down now if I went back to that ).
    I can't have Sky + which is the ideal option as we have a communal dish and I have only one LMB.I explored this and I could get a splitter which would give me Sky plus without the ability to watch and record at the same time but the cost of the Sky box with the larger disc is ridiculous, and although I subscribe to premium packages now - purely for Sports - I may not in the future.
    So the key issue for me is to be able to select a program and have the box change channels on my Sky digibox, but if the cost in terms of quality and reliability is too high I'll stick to my current set up or wait until Panasonic/Pioneer/Sony bring out a machine......
    nb for watching pre recorded DVD's I have a Classe DVD player which is brilliant for music and DVD so this machine is only for recording and viewing broadcast material
     
  7. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Not all of us see my sig. I am very happy with my DVD-R70 as is my father whom also own's one. :D
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The Toshiba has a magic wand and thus will change channels on your digibox. You would still need to programme the manual timer - but the machine is generations ahead of the Philips in all other features.

    The only other real option is the already mentioned Pioneer 920. With a machine at the price point your either willing to pay it (in which case the other options pale into insignificance) or your not when I would suggest looking at the Toshiba. All things said though if you put up for awhile you will find your overloaded with options.
     
  9. LFC4ever

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    Ah - so the Toshiba will change the Sky box.Similar to stting a video recorder I suppose ? Great ! I'll look at this and also try to find something out about the Pioneer. What's the best guess re timescale for all the other upcoming options?
    Thanks for the help so far....I was close to ordering the Philips which seems to be available for about £450 from Panther ?
     
  10. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    New (EPG) Toshiba will be here in a few months (due March). Panasonic will probably be offering an online EPG this year (including possibly setting timer via mobile phone!) and Pioneer will probably extend GEMstar throughout more of their range (Easter/Summer). Most others will probably arrive (being realistic) September.
     
  11. LFC4ever

    LFC4ever
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    Many thanks - I've looked at the Pioneer - which I guess could replace my Classe as well and use HDMI, or an alternative would be the Toshiba - although I couldn't find on either of these machines where it says they can control a Sky box.If it's only a couple of months though it may be worth waiing for the new ones !
     
  12. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Rasczak,

    Do you know if this is for new or existing models. The ability to programme TiVo over the web via a browser on a computer, PDA or mobile is very useful, just wish other companies would offer such flexibility or accessible operating systems.
     
  13. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Indeed. There is a What Video review of the Pioneer 920 in the current What Video & Widescreen TV magazine. Rated 5/5 and informs you of the set-top control feature etc. Also do a search for the Pioneer 920 on this forum - you'll get a few useful hits.

    For the Toshiba do a search for the Review thread, trawl your way through about 50 pages and you'll know more about it than you possibly want to know :)
     
  14. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    The E500 may get it, all the others will be new machines as it will require an Ethernet connection (to your PC/broadband connection).
     
  15. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Ah well stick with my TiVo then. The E500 is nice but expensive.
     
  16. dmac

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    O.k. I expect a frosty reception here, but feel the need to add my observations on the 725H having just recently got one. And before the cry of "fool!" drowns my ears, yes I did read the forums and have seen the reviews before buying.

    What I needed was similar to pgh though, an EPG guided timeshifter which will record what I want to watch at the click of a button. It also had to control my sky box, and sky+ wasn't an option as I also have a communal dish connection.

    A week later - its doing all of this very well for me. I love timeshifting everything and not being a slave to the TV schedule. I've already got a backlog of programmes to watch.

    The lack of automatic recording of favourite shows is the only annoyance. I'll live without rate conversion as burning to disc beyond a simple archive is all I need. I'll switch the bitrate if I need to. The editing is also fine for what I need. But if I want perfect DVDs I'll buy the box-set.

    Using it with a Plasma though may disappoint as Rasczak suggests. Picture quality is fine for my 28" CRT ... as good as the digibox will dish out anyway, so again not a concern for me.

    I'll be interested in what the new machines will do in the next year, I wanted one now and these things always get better. Will find out about the reliability in due course.

    But without the EPG I'd be lost. There'd be no point for me owning one of these without a quick way of setting up recordings. I'd certainly recommend it to friends who wanted to benefit for time-shifting and useability.

    Let the flames commence. :) Though I'd say the more vociferous opposition on other threads / forums for the 725H seem ill founded based on my experience and other real user experience I've read elsewhere for this machine.
     
  17. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    Woulda, shoulda, coulda, prolly - 'generations ahead'? :laugh:


    .
     
  18. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    dmac, nobody is going to get flamed on this forum for buying a DVD recorder that the majority disagree with. Enjoy your new DVD recorder!
     
  19. JethroUK

    JethroUK
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    Couple tips for editing:

    1/ You maybe inclined to crop (Divide) the header/footer off a title - but this will fragment the drive - better to 'Hide' it (as you would with adverts,etc) - Philips do discourage 'chopping off small chunks' in the manual, but they dont explain why - it's because fragmenting your hard drive into small pieces stops it running silky smooth, whereas 'hiding' keeps the whole file in one piece

    2/ If you delete the original title it also deletes the edited version (doesn't mention this in the manual)

    You might already discovered this the hard way :)
     
  20. dmac

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    Thanks for the tips Jethro - I think I'd hacked one small chunk off with divide by accident before getting hide to work as I wanted. I then killed off the larger chunk anyway as I was only testing ... and won't be fragmenting it any further.

    Handily the system warns me that killing the original will kill the edit. Have found it pretty intuitive at telling me when I'm going to go something which would adversely affect what I've setup and asking for confirmation. Hard way avoided!

    Rasczak - got no problems with disagreements, only those that I've seen elsewhere which are from people that have never used the kit in question. I can understand why people are down on Philips if previous models have had a bad rep though.
     
  21. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Indeed - people who comment on machines they haven't used can be misleading.
     
  22. LFC4ever

    LFC4ever
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    I'm seriously considering the Pioneer 920 as a replacement for the E85 and my Classe as I can use the HDMI link - wonder if it is as good for playback of commercial DVD's as the 868 ?
     
  23. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    It is very impressive via HDMI - not quite as good as a Denon 3910 I have been trialling - but then neither is the 868. Have you checked out the What Video review I suggested? Well worth spending £3.00 before £1000. ;)
     
  24. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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  25. LFC4ever

    LFC4ever
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    Thanks for all the help - I'll do some more research on the 920.Looking into this further it seems if I wait a couple of months I might have even more choice and also the price of the 920 may come down - cheapest I can see it in MR is £1089. I'd be interested also in how it compares to the 868 - or indeed the 3910 - and whether the differences are significant.
     
  26. LFC4ever

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    Have just found the answer to the problem I think, which gives me time to look at other recorders over the next few months! ( post from Tony today)

    You can manage to get the best of both worlds i.e. RGB recording with daisy chain pass through and get it triggered from the personnal planner.

    The way to do this is a bit of a bodge but I had it working with an XS32 any you should be able to do the same with the E85/95. What you need is an extra bit of kit that plugs into the VCR scart of the sky box and then transmits the activate/record remote control codes to the DVD recorder. You then connect the RGB scart from the sky box to the recorder. This works quite nicely. They used to sell them at Argos for about £20 but I can't find them on the web site. You can get them from here:
    http://www.satelliteonline.co.uk/phantom pvr.htm
     
  27. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    That's quite a neat trick - can you let us know how you get on?
     
  28. LFC4ever

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    Yes, have ordered it today so hopefully will have it by the weekend.However, on your Which DVD Recorder link I did notice the following which may indicate a reliability problem !

    ARE THERE ANY DVD RECORDERS THAT CONTROL MY SKY/FREEVIEW/NTL DIGIBOX?
    The Toshiba RDXS32 is the best machine to do this. It has a 'magic wand' that will switch your digibox to the relevant channel for a Timer recording. Other machines, such as the Panasonic range, can be set to record from a Sky digibox using the Personnel Planner feature of Sky. However experience has shown that such a link can be unreliable and the RGB connection cannot be used which prevents best quality recording.
     
  29. Rasczak

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    That was written by JamesL - there are three of us (soon to be four) working on that site. The "unreliable" term is referring to the fact the Personnel Planner can miss a few seconds of the start/end of programmes - like the Freeview EPG it is reliant on broadcasters updating it.

    If your experience with the Phantom goes OK then I'll order one to test and then will update the advice.
     
  30. dmac

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    Guideplus is equally liable to bad epg data also - it can't protect from an early start for example. And as its an overnight update (this is a guess) I presume that any programme changes on the day will completely knacker you. But you can put in a 10 / 20 / 30 minute extension to the recording at the end.

    My 725H claims to have a safety shot which does fire up the HDD buffer early, but it doesn't tell the machine to "record" the programme early by specified period so it doesn't get saved to the index. As its normally going to be a late running programme that causes problems the guideplus safety buffer is sufficient.

    Am particularly interested in how increasingly reliant people are going to be on EPG data with timeslip recording technology in the future. As I said before I'd be completely lost without an EPG myself. On the flipside I also work for a radio broadcaster as well and am well aware of the practicalities in trying to get accurate EPG data out of fellow producers and sent to the correct source across different platforms.
     

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